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Glossary and Definitions

Glossary and Definitions

Advance Fee Scam
A scam in which the victim is tricked into giving money to the scammer because he/she has been persuaded into believing that he/she will receive a larger sum of money as a result. [Also see Nigerian 419 scam.]

The portion of an Internet name that uniquely identifies the website. The domain name always appears before the first forward slash (/) of an Internet address (URL). There are hundreds of companies across the Internet that sell domain names to anyone.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address
An IP Address is a set of numbers separated by periods.  They are an addressing system representing a computer or other device connected to the Internet or a network.  E.g. or  Every domain name has an associated IP Address assigned to it.

Software intended to harm a computer or a person using the computer. “Mal” means bad in Spanish. Malware is short for “malicious software.” There are many different types of malware. E.g. spyware, extortion-ware, scare-ware, adware, backdoor Trojan horse, virus, rootkit

Moving a computer mouse over a link in order to reveal where the link actually points to. This is the most important safety skill for using the Internet!
Resource: (video about mouse-over skills)

Nigerian 419 Scam
A type of Advance Fee scam famously originating from Nigeria and named for the “419” Nigerian penal code dealing with fraud. [Also see Advance Fee scam.]

Defrauding a victim by tricking them into revealing his/her login credentials to a website or online service such as a banking or credit card account, social media account, or online gaming account. This is often done by manipulating a potential victim into visiting a fake website.

Reverse IP Lookup
Using a Reverse IP Lookup, anyone can enter an IP address and try to determine domain name(s) associated with the IP Address.
Resource:  or

The Scamdex is an index at The Daily Scam that reflects the severity of email scams over a period of the past few days of a work week, Monday – Friday. Generally, email scams drop off significantly on weekends. Afterall, scammers are human too and want to enjoy their weekend! A single thumbs down means the number of scams during the last few days has been very low. Five thumbs down (the highest number on our scale) means the opposite and we are likely in the midst of a scampaign.
NOTE: also happens to be a website resource detailing online fraud.

Scampaign ©
Working in an organized and coordinated effort to send out a large number of scams over a short period of time. Scampaigns are typically executed by criminal gangs who operate across the Internet. Scampaigns we have observed usually last 3-5 days, though sometimes longer. ©

Scam Exorcism ©
The Daily Scam notifies a person, company, or website owner that they have been hacked or scammed and provides enough information for the person, company or website owner to recover.  E.g. The Daily Scam takes great pride in identifying hacked websites in the United States and contacting the owners to provide evidence of the hack and where the offending files are located on the web server. ©  And we certainly appreciate the thanks we get in return….

Social Engineering
As related to scams, this term refers to the behavioral manipulation of a potential victim by a scammer.  Typical forms of online social engineering by scammers are to trick someone into clicking a link, downloading a file or visiting a malicious website.

Spam (Spammer)
Unwanted, unsolicited email sent in bulk.  Keep in mind that not all spam are scams. A spammer is a sender of bulk spam. “Mspam” is texting spam directed at smart phones.
Resources:  and

A software program designed to crawl Internet websites for the purpose of collecting email addresses to be sold in bulk to spammers who would use them.  Anyone who publishes their email address online without protection is likely to have it picked up by a spambot. Sometimes people use tricks to fool spambots by posting an email address in a way the spambot may not understand, such as “Johnsmith (at) yahoo (dot) com”
Resource: Tips for hiding from spambots

Spam directed at instant messaging services such as AIM (AOL instant messenger)

Spoofing (Email)
Email spoofing refers to an email containing information, including the sender’s source or “From” address that is altered to appear as though it comes from somewhere it does not.

Software installed on a computer without permission or knowledge by the computer’s owner and meant to gather valuable information and send it to the person controlling the spyware.

Any name or string of characters that appears before a domain name and separated by a period e.g.; “en” is the subdomain; “Members” is the subdomain

TLD (Top Level Domain)
Top level domains represent the highest level of the hierarchial domain naming system used on the Internet. They are developed and controlled by the Internet Consortium for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). E.g. “.com” “.org” “.gov”
Resource: Check out our article “Learn to Surf Safely by Understanding Website Domain Names”

Trojan (Trojan Horse)
A type of malware used to hack into someone’s computer but disguised to look like something that is legitimate. E.g. Some free software published on questionable websites has been found to contain trojan horses. Some music files traded illegally online has similarly been found to contain a Trojan horse.

A web address! For those that care… It stands for Uniform Resource Locator
E.g. is a URL.

Vanity Scam
Scams that try to appeal to person’s self-image by making the potential victim feel special. E.g. Who’s who scams that want to publish information about you in their directory because you are an accomplished business entrepreneur, teacher, accountant, lawyer…etc.

An online tool used to determine website ownership. There are many Whois tools on the Internet such as and  However, there are many web proxy services that will purchase a website for someone or some group and hide the real identity of the owner.  Hiding website ownership identity online raises interesting questions about domain privacy.  Check out